Mayor Michael A. Nutter returned home from a three-day visit to Tel Aviv, Israel during which he met with a range of local companies interested in establishing a U.S. presence with the help of Israeli companies that have already committed to move to Philadelphia. The visit was the second leg of a two-stop Sister City tour which included two days in Frankfurt, Germany to establish a new Sister City relationship with that city, the first for Philadelphia in twenty-three years. The meetings with businesses in Tel Aviv were based on Mayor Nutter and Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger’s 2013 trade mission to Israel and subsequent Israeli business delegations to Philadelphia.
“Since our initial trip almost two years ago, we have developed a very close relationship with Tel Aviv, which has resulted in a number of Israeli companies choosing Philadelphia for their U.S. base,” said Mayor Nutter. “These trade missions help to raise Philadelphia’s international profile and send the message that Philadelphia is a welcoming city for innovative and international companies.”
Mayor Nutter pitched Philadelphia as a welcoming city for Israeli companies looking to establish a presence in the United States. He was supported by a number of Israeli companies that have already made a commitment to invest in Philadelphia including:
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Pango, a mobile technology company which will open an office at Pipeline and will partner with the Philadelphia Parking Authority;
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Pico, a photo sharing technology company participating in the DreamIt Ventures program;
[if !supportLists]· [endif]PhysiMax, a healthcare technology company opening a Philadelphia office which was part of an October 2014 delegation to Philadelphia, led by leading Israeli investor Chemi Peres at Mayor Nutter’s invitation;
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Simlat, a drone technology company which is seriously considering a Philadelphia presence and which Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger met with during the Mayor Nutter’s November 2013 visit to Tel Aviv;
[if !supportLists]· [endif]WeWork, one of the world’s largest network of co-working spaces with space in Tel Aviv, which is opening a 30,000-square-foot co-working space in Philadelphia at the Piazza in Northern Liberties later this year.
“As an Israeli startup, we naturally initially looked to New York or Silicon Valley but we couldn’t have picked a better city than Philadelphia in which to locate our business,” said Asaf Nevo, co-founder of Pico.
In addition, Mayor Nutter visited a second co-working space, SoSA TLV, one of the leading startup communities in Israel for meetings with companies at the invitation of Chemi Peres of Pitango Venture Capital, to meet with dozens of startups looking for an entry point into the United States. He also met with an Israeli delegation of life sciences company representatives who recently visited Philadelphia for the BIO Convention; two water technology companies looking for entry into the U.S. market; a transportation-related technology company which is looking to move to Philadelphia; a group of leading Israeli venture capitalists; and a number of cyber security companies that recently visited Philadelphia.
Mayor Nutter visited the Netivot – Sedot Negev region of Israel, a partnership region with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and home to the recently dedicated mural developed in collaboration with the Mural Arts Program. During this visit Mayor Nutter toured the region’s border with the Gaza Strip and a research and development facility focused on food and healthcare innovation.
Mayor Nutter was joined by Desiree Peterkin-Bell, City Representative and Director of Communities (Tel Aviv only); Luke Butler, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; Sapna Bhatt, Director of International Investment; Nancy Gilboy, CEO, Citizens Diplomacy International (Frankfurt only); Lydia Sarson, Executive Director, German American Chamber of Commerce of Philadelphia (Frankfurt only); and Vered Nohi-Becker, Executive Director, Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (Tel Aviv only). The cost of the trip will be covered by Select Greater Philadelphia, the City of Frankfurt, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (Frankfurt office).
The City of Philadelphia received support for this trade mission from many partners including the City of Frankfurt, City of Tel Aviv, Consulate-General of Israel, Citizens Diplomacy International, Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, German American Chamber of Commerce, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Select Greater Philadelphia, PHLCVB, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Greenberg Traurig, Pitango Venture Capital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, DreamIt Ventures, WeWork, and SeventySix Capital.